McSally Inches Toward Rematch Against Barber #AZ02

McSally came close to beating Barber in 2012. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
McSally came close to beating Barber in 2012. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:04pm

Democrats got their hopes raised recently that retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally might be recruited to run for Arizona governor or to run to replace Republican Sen. John McCain in 2016 — instead of running for Congress in 2014. But it appears to be much ado about nothing.

Democrats were hoping that remarks McSally made in an amateur online video about Republicans recruiting her for other offices meant she was no longer serious about challenging Democratic Rep. Ron Barber in Arizona’s 2nd District. McSally nearly defeated Barber in the 2012 general election.

McSally seemed baffled in a phone interview about the Democratic reaction.

“I’m very strongly considering running for Congress,” she said, an almost verbatim comment she made in the video.

She added that she is in Washington, D.C., this week to testify on drones before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights,and Human Rights. While here, she has a meeting with the National Republican Congressional Committee and “other members of leadership.”

If anything, she seems more certain about running against Barber again than she was a few months ago.

“But I haven’t made up my mind yet,” she cautioned.

The video, first flagged by the Arizona Republic, is identified as taking place at the Narragansett, R.I., Republican Town Committee Reagan Dinner. (McSally is an Ocean State native.)

When asked for comment, Barber’s political consultant, Rodd McLeod, said that McSally speaks in “empty platitudes” and criticized her positions on Social Security and social issues.

“She’s basically refused to tell southern Arizona where she stands on the issues, but she’s happy to go to D.C. and answer questions under oath,” he said.

Barber represents the swing-district seat that was formerly held by then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., his former boss.